A recent study from the Keele University Arthritis Research Center in Great Britain explored this possibility and found that, yes indeed, lack of restorative sleep is a major factor into developing diffuse pain in the body.
There were other factors which seemed to be contributory as well:
- mental health issues
- other health ailments
All of these had apparent correlation with the onset of generalized and diffuse body pain. But regularly having poor, non-restorative sleep had the strongest link of all to the onset of widespread physical pain….over two times the likelihood of developing such pain than any other factor. The study looked at nearly 5,000 adults in the United Kingdom over the age of 50. While nearly half of the study participants had mild to modest regional pain of some kind at the onset of the study, none had widespread pain generalized in their bodies. Dr. Babak Mokhlesi, director of the Sleep Disorders Center as well as the Sleep Medicine Fellowship training program at the University of Chicago, noted, “It’s interesting because they looked at people who were pain-free and they followed them over time to see who developed widespread pain. I think that’s what gives (the study) so much strength.”
Among these risk factors, it’s apparent that lack of quality sleep which leaves you feeling refreshed and alert is actually a strong predictor of the development of this kind of diffuse body pain…often a category of pain falling under the umbrella of the fibromyalgia diagnosis which affects 10% of men and 15% of women over the age of 50. So if you’re suffering from this category of pain, including measures to markedly improve sleep patterns can dramatically improve the level of pain! The study can be reviewed in more detail if you simply click the link Sleep and Pain.
Exploration of better quality sleep and ways to obtain it will be explored in our next installment! Until then….rest well!